Jack Kamen, Al Feldstein and Ray Bradbury: Three for the Money and Other Stories (Fantagraphics)
Three for the money and other stories
Jack Kamen, Al Feldstein and Ray Bradbury
08 Dec. 2021
Three for the money and other stories, the latest volume in the Fantagraphics EC Artist Library, is sure to delight any fan of the award-winning series. It focuses on the work of illustrator Jack Kamen, as well as writers Al Feldstein and Ray Bradbury, bringing together comics originally published in Shock SuspenStories, Crime SuspenStories, Impact, Vault of Horror, Fighter, War on crime, criminal patrol, and Tales from the Crypt. It also contains additional stories from writers Otto Binder, Jack Oleck and Carl Wessler as well as illustrators Sid Check and Fred Peters.
There’s a lot to like here, but the most notable comic has to be âThe Orphan,â which first appeared in Shock SuspenStories # 14. This was the subject of EC editor Bill Gaines’ testimony on April 21, 1954 before the US Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, which rose to national prominence a week later when News week reprinted the last four panels with the headline “Are Comics Horrible?” “
Al Feldstein’s adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s short story “The October Road” fits in perfectly with Jack Kamen’s novel-comedy style and sits right at the intersection of suspense and horror that defines much of the story. EC production. Other highlights include âfrozen assets! Â»Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe!psychopath curiosity transvestites “Standing Room Only” and “In the Groove”, which features a murderous disc jockey.
As usual for the series, Three for the money and other stories is packed with extras like designer biographies, an essay on Kamen by SC Ringgenberg and a deep dive into the company’s history by Ted White. Perhaps most interesting is the excellent introduction by legendary detective novelist Max Allan Collins (Route of perdition, the Career novels), which guides readers through each of the stories, contextualizing the comics, highlighting references to James M. Cain, O. Henry and Saki, and giving his unedited opinions along the way. It alone is worth the purchase price. (www.fantagraphics.com/products/three-for-the-money-and-other-stories)
Author’s Note: 8/ten